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Custom-designed air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems for tertiary institute

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A variety of air conditioning solutions were provided for the new MIT building by Aquaheat New Zealand, including an ultra-quiet system for the auditorium

Custom-designed air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems for tertiary institute


Innovative design solutions were required for the installation of the air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems in the new MIT campus.

Aquaheat New Zealand, the company that was responsible for the detailed design, construction, installation and commissioning of these systems, faced several challenges, says Brett Laurent, regional general manager.

"For example, the building includes a data room with climate control that needed to be operational more than six months before the rest of the building could be completed. Aquaheat designed a temporary cooling solution and additional temporary filtration to ensure the data room was kept free of construction dust. We later managed a seamless transfer to the permanent systems."

Another one-off solution by Aquaheat was the design of a special steel support structure for the central air handling plant on the roof. This was required because the building design included a lightweight insulated wear slab that could not directly support the plant weight.

The majority of teaching spaces and general areas are supplied with air conditioned air through floor-mounted swirl diffusers, which mix the air well and deliver a high level of comfort to the occupants. Return air is transferred to the large central atrium where it rises to the top and is returned to the air handling plant.


Because the atrium floor partly sits above the train station, it incorporates hot water heating coils embedded into the concrete slab, which ensure the area is comfortable during the winter.

The air conditioning in the auditorium needed to be quiet, so the ductwork is run below the raised seating, with the air pressurised beneath the seats.

Contact John Forsyth, business development manager, Aquaheat New Zealand, phone 021 578 352. Email:

First published date: 20 August 2014

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